Windows-Help.NET Newsletter 14 June 2003, Vol 6 No. 21

In this issue:

w   Microsoft Extends Windows 98 Support Lifecycle
w   Microsoft Buys Antivirus Technology
w   Recent Support BBS Postings
w   Recommended Web Sites
w   Web Site Updates
w   Administrivia


Microsoft Extends Windows 98 Support Lifecycle

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Microsoft Extends Windows 98 Support LifecycleRecently Microsoft quietly extended the Support Lifecycle for Windows 98/98SE. In October 2002, Microsoft announced in their revised "Support Lifecycle Policies" document, that the end of Windows 98/98SE support (the so called "Non-Supported phase") was planned for June 30, 2003, and the "End of Life" phase was projected for June 30, 2004.

When I visited Microsoft's Windows Desktop Product Life Cycle Support and Availability Policies for Consumers this week, I found that Microsoft has quietly changed these dates. The "Non-Supported" phase is now scheduled for January 16, 2004, with the "End of Life" phase listed as January 16, 2005.

According to Microsoft, no-charge incident support and extended hotfix support (still) ends on June 30th 2003, but Windows 98/98 SE downloads for existing security issues will continue to be obtainable through normal assisted support channels at no charge. Customers can request Windows 98/98 SE fixes for new security issues and these requests will be reviewed. Fixes for any new security issues can be specifically requested through normal assisted support channels. Web-based self-help support will be available for at least one year after assisted support has concluded.

So users of Windows 98/98SE can be assured that their OS will be kept up-to-date for at least another 6 months. It seems that Microsoft is at least conscious of the large number of people still using Windows 98, and decided to extend its support for the OS. Back in October 2002, when Microsoft made the first adjustments to its Product Lifecycle Policies (which were originally published in February 2001), it extended Windows 2000 support by a full two years.

For more information check the Product Life-Cycle Policies Web site.

Microsoft Buys Antivirus Technology

Last Tuesday Microsoft announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the intellectual property and technology assets of GeCAD Software Srl., a provider of antivirus technology based in Bucharest, Romania. According to Microsoft, its acquisition of GeCAD's technology will help secure its customers by providing antivirus solutions for Microsoft® products and services. In addition to developing new solutions, Microsoft will use the GeCAD engineering expertise and technology to enhance the Windows platform and extend support for third-party antivirus vendors so they can provide customers with increasingly secure and comprehensive levels of virus protection.

"Customers told us they needed a safer, more trustworthy computing experience to help combat the threats posed by those who write viruses and malicious code," said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business Unit at Microsoft. "This acquisition will help us and our partner antivirus providers further mitigate risks from these threats."

Microsoft is touting the acquisition as the next step in its Trustworthy Computing initiative because Antivirus software is a critical component in protecting computers. Installing an effective antivirus solution is the first step, but keeping it up-to-date with the latest virus signatures is just as important. According to a study commissioned by Microsoft, 63 percent of home users do not have an antivirus solution or do not keep their antivirus solution up-to-date. Without updated signatures, antivirus software is ineffective against new viruses.

According to Microsoft they will also continue to invest in technologies, in addition to its own future solutions, which allow Windows to support a wide range of third-party antivirus solutions.

Details of the Microsoft antivirus solution, including any product plans, pricing, and a timeline for delivery, are not yet available, although there are some indications that Microsoft is looking to provide a paid-subscription service to Windows users.

Recent Support BBS Postings

Automatic Updates - Windows XP
Alternative email program - Other Internet Software
Remote Desktop Access from another location - Networking
Firewall - Security / Virus / Spyware
Sending files with messenger problem - Applications

Recommended Web sites

Each month we will feature a few Web sites here, ones which sent us the most visitors to our Web site in the previous month. We would encourage you to visit these popular Web sites yourself!

Here are some sites in the Top 15 for April 2003:

  • LangaList - Computer & Internet related Newsletter.
  • TechRepublic - "Real World. Real Time. Real IT."
  • Kelly's XP Korner - Troubleshooting Windows XP pages by MVP Kelly Theriot.
  • Webopedia - "The only online dictionary and search engine you need for computer and Internet technology".
  • PC Pitstop - Help you to get your PC in top form.

The Top 15 sites are listed on our Web site.

Web Site Updates

These pages were added/updated in the past week. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.

Added: Speeding Up Those Printing Jobs


Added: Microsoft Extends Windows 98 Support Lifecycle
Added: Microsoft Buys Antivirus Technology From GeCAD Software

Windows XP

Added: Windows XP Patch: New Icon Location for the "Set Program Access and Defaults" Feature


Speeding Up Those Printing Jobs

Is your printer slowing you down? There are your options to speed it up!

Read Full Article
Links 2003 Trial Version

With the trial version, you will be able to play Sergio Garcia using the new Real Time Swing option. Included in the trial version are five different modes of play available, in addition to the ability to compete head-to-head online at The featured course will be the back nine holes of Skeleton Coast, the new fictional golf course designed exclusively for Links 2003.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 98, ME, 2000 and XP

Download [166 MB]
Windows XP Security Guide Securing Windows XP Clients

Microsoft updated the Windows XP Security Guide it originally released at the end of May. The guide includes settings for Windows XP clients deployed in a Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Active Directory domain. The documents also include guidance for an environment requiring an extremely high level of security in which application compatibility or usability may be constrained. The guides also discusse procedures for implementing Windows XP security settings in stand-alone clients.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP. Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Download [2.91 MB]

The guide is also available on-line at the Microsoft TechNet Web site.
Windows Media Diagnostic Tool

The Windows Media Diagnostic Tool (WMDiag) simplifies troubleshooting by gathering system configuration information and packaging it into a single compressed file that can be sent to a product support professional for review.

Download the Guided Tour and install it on your computer to experience how Windows Server 2003 reduces costs while delivering solutions that help organizations do more with less.

Occasionally users encounter problems when using Windows Media Player or Windows Movie Maker. Troubleshooting the cause of these problems can be difficult due to system configuration variables, such as installed hardware, drivers, and other programs. Often, identifying these system variables can be a time consuming process.

Download [264 KB]
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